Chris Hughton has denied reports that Dutch striker Ricky Van Wolfswinkel can refuse to join Norwich City this summer if the club are relegated to the Championship at the end of the season.

The Canaries have agreed to sign the Dutch forward for a fee of £8.5m from Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon, but the player's agent recently claimed that a clause exists in the 24-year-old's deal which would allow him to cancel the transfer if Norwich are relegated from the top flight.

Louis Laros, Van Wolfswinkel's representative, told Portuguese newspaper A Bola: "There is a special clause in the deal accepted by all parties that stipulates if Norwich leave the Premier League then the future of Ricky Van Wolfswinkel will be open again."

Hughton, however, has categorically stated this is not the case - and he fully expects the Netherlands international to be at the club on July 1.

"I have heard those reports but the facts are that he has signed for Norwich City and I expect to see him on the first of July," he said. "Any talk of a relegation clause in the contract is not fact. That is where we are and we look forward to seeing him next season."

Norwich, who currently lie in 14th place, are currently four points above the drop zone with five games remaining.

They take on Reading in a so-called relegation six-pointer on Saturday, before finishing their campaign with games against Stoke City, Aston Villa, West Brom and the reigning champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

The Canaries have failed to record a Premier League win since February's 2-1 home victory over Everton, and have only picked up three points from their previous six matches.

 

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